Top reasons people move abroad

reasons to relocate

People tend to travel to foreign countries. In many cases, the main reason is not tourism but the opportunity to find a good job and to start a new life. What can possibly motivate people to leave their home countries and relocate?

The reasons are different depending on the circumstances of each person. However, here you can find some of the most popular reasons to move abroad:

Better job opportunity

If you are struggling to find a good job waiting around is not the right answer. Relocating to other part of the world allow you to access to a new job market and to choose a place you know has the opportunities you are looking for.

Love & Family

You may want to move abroad to stay closed to the people you love the most.

Maybe your partner need to relocate due to job reasons leaving you no choice but to follow him/her in order to preserve your future together.

It may also be possible that you met the person you believe to be the right partner to grow old together so you may decide to move with him to start a common life in a new country (probably his/her home country).

A new language or a higher job position are important steps in the process of personal growth

Broaden horizons

For many the desire to explore, to discover, is the main reason to relocate to a new country. Moving abroad allows you to immerse yourself in a new culture, see incredible new things, learn a different language and, at the same time, experience a change in every single aspect of your life.

Weather

Good weather is one of the main reasons to move abroad. Did you know that the 62,2% of young people in Britain are willing to relocate somewhere warmer?

Personal development

Although personal development is a broad concept, many consider a new lifestyle, a new language, a higher job position or the opportunity to meet new people as important steps in the process of personal growth.

Life quality

Another broad concept used to elaborate the Mercer Annual Quality of Living Survey. A survey created to help multinational companies compensate their employees fairly when relocating and placing them on international assignments.

In your case, what is the main reason for you to leave your country? Would you add any other reason to relocate? 

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And now what?

Regardless of the economical and financial point of view, the European Union was born to remind us that we can live in peace together. The EU is based in peace and collaboration agreements.

UK joined the EU in 1973 sharing its principles of stability, respect and prosperity. Furthermore, being part of this alliance allowed the UK citizens to work, live and travel freely all around the EU.

Until four days ago.

Four days ago UK decided to leave us, its citizens surprisingly voted for the renowned “Brexit” causing an unprecedented uncertainty on the whole EU.

There were two fact that impressed us the most regarding this decision. On the one hand, Google reported that searches for “What does it mean to leave the EU?” and “What is the EU?” peaked after the referendum. Does it mean that UK citizens did not know the consequences of their votes?    

“Many people are regretting about what they voted. They did not know the real consequences of the Brexit” – N.C Spanish expat in Oxford

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On the other hand, mostly elder people voted for the Brexit while young people voted massively to remain. Does it mean that elder people decided the future of my generation and the upcoming generations without being aware, as we previously saw, of the consequences of this decision? 

“The older generation over 50 voted mostly to leave. Most of them will be dead in time for the next generation to suffer” – G.M. Northern Irish expat in Montpellier 

And now, what’s next? What’s going to happen with Scotland and North Ireland (which massively voted to remain in the EU)?

“We will probably become independent and join our EU neighbors. We’ve just caused a recession for ourselves and upset our European neighbors” – G.W. Scotsman expat in Düsseldorf

And how will this decision affect expats? How will this vote change the way the next generations understand the freedom of movement of workers and citizens in the EU?

“No one was expecting this result in my company. They still do not know what is coming next since most of the employees are foreigners. There are trying to figure out how can they manage this situation” – N.B. Spanish expat in Manchester

One important principle of the EU is freedom of movement for workers and citizens, allowing the social and cultural enrichment of the member countries. How will this decision affect all the UK citizens living abroad? And the foreigners living in the UK? We should not forget that 1.2 million people born in UK live abroad placing the UK fifth among the EU countries for the size of their expats in other EU countries.

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“Many people are thinking about to leave England. They feel there are not welcome here right now. I will stay until they kick me out, then I will move to other european country where I feel welcome” – A.L. Spanish expat in London 

What comes next is still a mystery for all of us. While some governments stand up for a fast and immediate exit others, like the German one, are willing to concede the UK a period of time to fix all its internal emerging problems (Scottish independence?, The establishment of borders in Ireland?).

However, it is clear that something is changing in the EU: People want to feel part of the EU, people are raising their voices, they want to be listened, they want a better Europe. Then, why instead of following arising nationalism ideas do we not stay in the EU to try to change it from the inside?. As EU citizens we have the tools to express ourselves and to generate the institutional change, then let´s do it! Leaving is just the easy way, working from the inside can be tough but it is the right way.

“We can be patriots, why not? But not nationalists. Nationalism brought us many conflicts in the past. We are facing lots of problems as europeans right now, we should stay together” – O.T. Spanish expat in Köln

 

Let´s face the nationalism that tries to destabilize what our ancestors started building 70 years ago and let´s be united in this uncertain period. There are so many challenges we have to face right now as europeans… Let´s work on them together! 

“The worst part is the not economical one, as most of the people think… it is moral! We fought to be free from nationalism, and we are now allowing it to coming back in name of…freedom!” – A.B. Italian expat in Essen

Do you feel European? What is your opinion about the EU? What do you think about the UK decision? Did you vote in the referendum?  Which is your expat point of view regarding everything what is happening right now in Europe?

Share your thoughts with us! We are happy to read your opinion!

5 pieces of advice to my pre-expat self

Which advice you would give yourself if you could go back 3 years in time? 

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Three years ago some of us had just arrived in Germany while some others did not know that the universe was planning to bring us here.

If we could come back three years in time we would give us some advices before starting this expat adventure:

1. Never stop dreaming: If you can imagine it, you can achieve it

If you believe in something, go for it. Nothing and no one can stop you.

There will be days you will reconsider everything, there will be moments you will want to go back to your family (your comfort zone), sometimes you will feel homesick…

However, never forget that if you believe in yourself nothing can stop you. If you wanna change something just make the first move.

The most common obstacles while living abroad are traditions and language. Do not wait until the last minute to learn the language and to adapt yourself to the local culture. The earlier you do it, the earlier you will start overcoming any difficulty.

2. Do not lose your inner child 

Learn from each single moment, look around with the same curiosity as if you were a child, talk to different kind of people, laugh at yourself, enjoy simple things in life, face this adventure in a positive manner and never stop smiling, because this is the adventure of your life.

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3. Every person comes to you at the right moment

Every single person you will meet living abroad will come to you at the right moment. Together you will experience remarkable adventures which allow you to evolve as human beings, and your friendship will be a special relationship that will least the rest of your life.

Every person comes to your life for a reason. Learn from them because they will make a difference in your life.

4. Integrate yourself into the local culture

Do not be a conformist; learn the language, make local friends, try local food, travel around the country, go to local festivals, taste typical drinks, go to after work meetings, discuss with different kind people, get used to the local way of transport, speak the local language (even if you are just starting to learn it)…

Be ready to discover a new culture and to experience it, integration is the first step to feel at home.

5. Each situation will teach you a life lesson

Expats are outside their comfort zone. Expats are far from home. Expats are trying to be part of a new culture with different traditions.

Sometimes a trivial thing can be huge problem: a misunderstanding due to the language, looking for a job, a legal matter… Learn from these situation and keep always in mind that there are no problems, there are just solutions.
And the most important advice:  Enjoy this experience like you have never done before, because this is the best life lesson you will ever learn.

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5 consejos a mi yo pre-expat

 

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¿Qué consejos le darías a tu yo de hace 3 años?

Hace tres años algunos de nosotros acabábamos de llegar a Alemania, mientras que otros ni tan siquiera sabíamos que el destino nos tenía preparada esta aventura.

Si pudiésemos volver tres años atrás, y sentarnos con nosotros mismos, nos daríamos un par de buenos consejos antes de convertirnos en expats

1. Cada una de las personas que aparezcan en tu camino lo harán en el momento adecuado

Durante tu tiempo en el extranjero vas a conocer a muchas personas. Cada una de ellas aparecerá en un momento distinto, en un lugar diferente, y su amistad será inigualable. Esas personas formarán parte de tu aventura y serán siempre parte de tu vida por diversas razones.

Vivir juntos este experiencia os va a cambiar de tal manera que nunca os olvidaréis el uno del otro. Cada una de las personas que se cruzan en nuestra vida lo hacen por una razón. Aprende de ellas, pues te van a dejar huella para siempre.

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2. No pierdas tu niño interior

Aprende de cada momento, mira a tu al rededor con la curiosidad de un niño que todo lo quiere saber, pregunta cuando quieras tener respuestas, ríete de ti mismo, disfruta con las cosas pequeñas, alégrate por esta oportunidad y nunca pierdas la sonrisa, porque esta es la aventura de tu vida.

3. Nunca dejes de soñar

Si crees en algo puedes conseguirlo. Que nada ni nadie te hagan creer que no puedes y, muchos menos, tú mismo. Si quieres puedes.

Los mayores obstáculos de los expat suelen ser el idioma y las costumbres del país en el que viven. No esperes hasta el último minuto para aprender el idioma ni para integrarte. Cuanto antes empieces antes podrás superar esos pequeños contratiempos.

4. Intégrate en la sociedad en la que vives

No te conformes con vivir en otro país, experiméntalo. Prueba la comida local, celebra las fiestas tradicionales, visita tu país de acogida, aprende su historia, conoce su cultura, haz amigos nacionales, prueba las bebidas típicas, haz planes que nunca pensaste que harías, intenta hablar el idioma por muy difícil que sea…

Vive el país. Integrarse es el primera paso para sentirse como en casa.

5. Cada situación te va a enseñar una lección 

Los expats han salido de su zona de confort y se encuentran fuera de casa, en una cultura diferente con reglas y costumbres diferentes. En ocasiones cualquier pequeñez puede convertirse, sin quererlo, en un problema: un malentendido debido al lenguaje, un asunto legal, buscar un trabajo…

Aprende de estas situaciones y no olvides nunca que en esta vida no hay problemas, sólo soluciones.

 

Y el consejo más importante de todos: Disfruta de esta experiencia como nunca, porque esta experiencia te va a cambiar para siempre.

What wikipedia can´t tell you about Lingoda

When you arrive to the office and the first thing you see is one of your colleagues trying to comunicate with a foreigner, you realize how important it is to speak different languages.

Versión español aquí

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As we are living in Germany we try to improve our german knowledge everyday, however, German is not an easy language (have you ever tried to pronounce Brötchen or Quietscheentchen?) furthermore we do not have as much time as we wished.

At the begining we attended to different german schools, but the lack of time implies a lack of motivation (leaving the office at 18.00 and taking a german course betwen 18.30-20.30 can be a bit exhausting). After talking with some other expats we found out a solution: An online language school. But, how can it be possible? Was it another website where people can only check the grammar?

This language school is called Lingoda. Probably you  have already heard some information about it, however, for us it was something new that stoked our curiosity. That is the reason why, we decided to try it. 

First of all, we created our own profile and we chose the level we wanted to learn. In our case we decided to refresh our B2 knowledge (sometimes is good to review some old grammar).

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Then we decided to join some group classes. Here came our first question: When do we have time? Due to our work it is difficult to balance working times, learning, doing fitness and having social life so we decided to book a class one tuesday at 19.00. However, we had to cancel it in the very last minute…

After this awful beginning we decided to check the website deeply until we found what we were looking for: Flexibility.

Lingoda is full of group and individual classes, each of which are about different subjects. The classes are scheduled at different times among the day and during the weekends. If you do not find the right class for you, you can always book a private course. Once we discovered it we did not cancel any other class because we could planified our courses based on our needs and our timetable (yes, sometimes it is good to take a course on the weekend and to learn easily and relax at home).

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Our first class was a writting-group with 4 students and the teacher, who was an austrian. We had 5 minutes time to introduce ourselves and the class took one hour. All our group courses where more or less the same: Introduction and 60 minutes course. Depending on the teacher and the students it can last a bit longer, but it never takes less than one hour.

Although each course has a different topic (we learned things about the german education system and how to prepare a job interview) we recommend you to take an individual course if you want to learn something specific. And do not worry about buying books or learning material! Everything is provided by Lingoda

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A good point about Lingoda is that the teachers are native speakers and some of them also live abroad, which makes easy for them to understand the difficulties of learning a language. Once we had a teacher who was living in Latin America, that class was amazing. She was really nice and we learnt a lot!

Since one month we are improving our German at the same time that we are learning more about the german way of life (how to prepare a job interview, why sausages are so important… ). In our case improving our german knowledge is important to live here and to communicate with others, however, Lingoda offers courses in different languages: French, Spanish and English, which can be also really useful for our next destination (Latin America, France, USA… As a expats we never know which will be our next stop).

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Have you ever heard about Lingoda? Have you ever used this online language school? Tell us your experience!! Otherwise, if you need more information just check its website: https://www.lingoda.com/ and start enjoying while learning 🙂

7 signs you are becoming German

Are you getting used to the German way of life? Are you including potatoes and sausages in your diet? Do you also think that the christmas markets are the place to be during winter time? If you answered yes to all these questions it is a sign of your “germanization”. Are you becoming German? Here you can find definitive 7 signs you are becoming German

1. When you
move you bring your old furniture to your new flat

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In Germany it is quite usual to do not leave a single nail in your old apartment when you move to a new one. Germans
take all their furniture when they move: the kitchen, the freezer, the wash
machine… also the bulbs!

If the furniture does not fit in the new apartment they leave it in the street, so that other people can re-use it. Recycling the old-fashioned way! 🙂

2. When you
see a ray of light sun and you run outside your flat

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It does not matter if it is winter or summer. Germans are crazy about the sun. If there is
a sunny day they will be on the street enjoying it. Everytime the sun shine the
streets are crowded of people having a walk or drinking a coffee in the terraces.
No one will stay at home during a sunny day.

3. When you split the bill

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Zusammen oder getrennt? That is the question. If you come from the south of Europe there
is a high probability that your answer “zusammen (together)”. In some countries
it is common to invite friends for a coffee or to pay a meal.

However, a good german would have answered “getrennt (separate)”. In Germany they split everything, also the coffee bill! So, if you want to invite a friend do not be
surprised if he looks weird at you.

4. When you
remove your shoes in the entrance of your flat

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It is a non-written rule. When you enter in a flat you have to remove your shoes, to
leave them at the entrance and to walk barefoot.

The main goal of this non-written rule is to avoid scattering the snow and the water of the rain around the whole flat. It is a good idea, taking into account that the average of rainy days in Germany is around 128 days per year.

Do not forget it when you visit a german friend!

5. When you like to spend a day at IKEA

Spending the day at IKEA is a german common hobby. No matter which day of the week, if
you go to IKEA it will be totally crowded. We do not know the reason why
germans love to spend their time there, but it is quite normal for them.

Did you know one of the biggest IKEA of the world is located in Germany?? Concretely in
Düsseldorf.

http://www.rp-online.de/nrw/staedte/duesseldorf/duesseldorfer-ikea-ist-jetzt-der-groesste-der-welt-aid-1.1144216

6. When you cannot wait to get off the public transport

Germans tend to be ready to get off the public transport before it stops. Usually they
start to queue up at the previous stop. In the subway they queue up during 2
minutes, however, it can take longer when you travel by train.

It looks like if they were always on a hurry! Can it be due to the punctuality of the Deutsche Bahn? We would like to apologize before sharing the following with you: German public transports come hardly on time! Maybe that is the reason why germans are always in a hurry?

7. When your idea of a perfect summer plan is to organize a BBQ in a park

When summer comes organizing a BBQ in the park is THE PLAN. Nothing else can make germans
happier than a good BBQ, beers and friends.

In fact, it is easy to organize one. You just need to buy some beers, food and to find a place in some random park around the city or in front of the river. Sincerely, we do not why they
love BBQ so much, is it maybe not because of the food itself but due to the weather (as we said before)?

We are almost “germanized” 🙂 After some years living here we like their way of life. An what about you, are you becoming German?

German health care system

“Bist du krank?”

Are you sick? – Get used to listen to this question almost everyday because… the weather is so crazy in Germany!

One day we wake up in a 20 degrees sunny day and the day after it is rainning and the temperature does not reach the 10 degrees.

Spring season is back!

Germans love drinking tea as a first step to recover themselves from sickness, however, and just in case this german technique is not helping you, we would like to let you know how the german healthcare system works.

German healthcare system

The german healthcare system assures universal coverage to all the citizens. Therefore the most recommended thing to do when you register yourself as a resident in Germany is to take out a Krankenkasse (a public health insurance company).

In case of unemployement you will have to carry out a fix monthly payment (between 140-160€) to the Krankenkasse that you choose. However, if you are employed, an amount of 8,2% of your income will be substracted to pay the public health insurance.

If you are willing to have more coverage you can always enrolle in a private insurance. In this case be aware of two things; the older you are the more expensive the insurance will be, and the doctors you can attend to are usually the same in both cases (with public and private insurance).

How to go to the doctor

In Germany practitioners are not associate to the Krankenkasse, so the best option, if you need to visit one, is to google it or to ask a friend if he can recommend you a good doctor.

If you are a european citizen and you are living in Germany for a short period of time (2-3 months) you can always use the european health insurance card and you won´t need to pay for the consultation.

In case you are a resident in Germany you will be asked to show your Krankenkasse card every time you visit the practitioner.

The consultation

First of all you have to visit the Allgemeinarzt (general practitioner) and then he will transfer you to a specialized medical practitioner.

Allgemeinarzt practices have also their own laboratory, in case some blood tests are required. However, if you need more specific tests the doctor will transfer you to another practicioner (in most of the cases you will have to look for one on your own, so check google or talk to your friends once again for a recommendation).

Taking time off for sickness

If you are employed you can take a day off to stay at home without going to the doctor, however, after the second day you will need to visit him to get diagnosed and to take time off for sickness.

In Germany it is really easy to book off sick at the office since they are really afraid of being contagious, therefore they prefer to stay at home instead of going to work (a time off sick due to a light cold can last 3 days).

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Medication

In comparison to other european countries Germany is really cautious regarding the selling of medical products. Basic things such as peroxide and mercurchrome are hard to buy without a prescription.

Whenever you need to go to the pharmacy visit your doctor first and ask him for a presciption. If you contract a public insurance it will take care of the costs of medicines.

Following you can find a list of the existing Krankenkassen and the private health insurance companies in Germany.

I hope it was a usefull post and you enjoy a nice spring season!

Hamburg

Last weekend we drove a car direction north and we ended up in Hamburg, a city where antique and modernity coexist.

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Hafencity

It is the modern part of the city, here the visitor can find some warehouses reconverted in apartments and office buildings close to modern constructions, all of them connected by bridges. In front of the port it is easy to find some of the most well known companies of the world: Unilever, Der Spiegel…. Furthermore, there are some nice cafeterias and restaurants. As a curiosity, in this area it is located the Hamburg philharmonic, a modern construction which building costs where much more higher than the initial budget.

 

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Rathaus

This rebuilt building from 1897 is located in Altstadt in front of the Marktplatz and the stock market looking at the dock and the memorial of the World War I.

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Portugiesenviertel

It is a small neighborhood full of Portuguese (and some Spanish) restaurants and stores. This are area of the city was inhabited by portuguese fishermen many years ago, therefore we could enjoy traditional portuguese food and fresh fishes.

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St.Pauli y Reeperbahn

After a short walk starting in the Portugieseviertel we arrived to the most known district of the city: St.Pauli. Once there the visitor feels like in a different city.

During the day this neighborhood is full of alternative and open minded people, where it is possible to find different types of street art in the facade of the buildings. However, during the night this district becomes into an illuminated area full of lights coming from the different discos, sex shops and pubs. Moreover, there is a street similar to the red light district in Amsterdam (sadly I was not allow to enter and visit it because I am a girl).

I am sure that most of you have heard about this district for different reasons. On the one hand, St.Pauli is really known due to its football team, whose fans declare themselves anti-fascists and anti-racists. On the other hand, in Reeperbahn is located the “Indra” pub, where the Beatles played and recorded the demo which got the attention of their first producer in the 60´s.

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Altona

At the end of St.Pauli we can find this residential area full of stores and cafeterias, where it is nice to drink a regional beer as well as to eat some traditional sweets of Hamburg.

 

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Fischmarkt

Finally a plan not advisable for non morning people: the Fischmarkt. It is recommendable to go there early in the morning to try fresh fish. It is only opened from 5am to 10 am. However, there is another alternative for non morning people: to walk along the dock until the Hafencity and to try some fish & chips or some fresh fish sandwiches while watching the different ships berthed in the port.

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Bremen

And to finish off a nice weekend there is nothing better than coming back to the charming city of Bremen, to get lost among its streets and to end up eating Waffles in a cute cafeteria located in the old district of Schnoor

 

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                   “I was born in Liverpool but raised in Hamburg.”- John Lennon